Stepping into the forest of my mind

Stepping into the forest of my mind
Just as every journey begins with a first step, every story begins with the first word.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Going to College with the Family in Tow

Photographs are necessary especially on
holidays when life becomes a blur.
Did you ever wish there could be two of you?  When I was attending college for ten of my children’s growing up years, I wished I could have been a traditional college student.  Then another part of me wanted to be that full-time mother of five children.

            Obviously, I couldn’t become two separate people.  So I needed to do the second best thing and perform both tasks as one person. 

            Many people, especially women, wish they could be more than just one person in order to do all the things and tasks that they feel need to be accomplished in life.

            There’s the key. 

People “feel” that these tasks need to be accomplished.  Most certainly we have time-sensitive tasks that truly need to be accomplished.  Business and school projects have firm dates.  Novelists, book publishers have deadlines; essayists, content writers, and short story writers have deadlines.  The list is endless. 

In the beginning of my college career, I truly needed to return home before my children.  There was no one else to watch five children—let alone feed them.  I don’t know about you, but my angels came home starving after school.  You’d think they never ate breakfast or lunch.  I couldn’t attend activity meetings or study groups or join events during that time.  I needed to be a mother.

Other deadlines can be made malleable.   

Prioritizing became a way of life.  I tried to disrupt my children’s schedules, in the beginning of my college journey, as little as possible.  This was especially important for my oldest daughter who is special needs.  Re-teaching her always rested on my shoulders.  She was in eighth grade at that time; the twins, in second grade. 

            The two H’s were at the top of the list:  health and homework, there’s and mine.  Still, by Christmas break, I had the flu…each of the ten years attending college.  The children were fine.  It was just I, the college student/Mom who wanted to crawl into my room and let Christmas happen on its own.  But it doesn’t work that way in families with young children.  Many times, it falls to the mother to make holidays happen.  Yes, I cut down on the baking.  Yes, I tried to delegate, but there was only my husband, at the time, to delegate to.  Hence, some things got accomplished; others did not. 

            Attending college when you have a family, sometimes things need to change.  They did for me; however, I made these transitions slowly, both for the children and for me.  Understanding which tasks truly need to be accomplished now and which can wait, prioritizing your work load.  These are some mindsets to help a parent get through college.  How have you mastered the times in your life when you wished you were more than one person?